I went to southeast Asia in October by myself. I chronicled the first part of my trip in my May post: Encountering Manila. In June IWSG: […]Bali, I shared my first day. I hope you’ll check out the links. The Philippines and Indonesia are beautiful countries and very desirable destinations for obvious reasons.
But before I begin, due to the quarantine and the extreme heat, I’m feeling lethargic, and I’d like to apologize because I think my writing reflects that. I’m certainly not inspired by it. WestJet cancelled our 4th attempt at flying home for the summer. The only non-WestJet flight I could find will take 3 days (2 overnight layovers) in some of the worst corona hotspots on the continent. That sounds scary and reckless. But can we withstand the heat if we decide to stay?
We had a cooler than normal winter and several mornings I had to wear a sweater. The wind off the bay kept our little apartment cool, sometimes even cold — until Father’s Day. Then as warned, the wind died. Unless you’ve experienced the shift, there’s no way of preparing for it. We’re Canadians and, as such, we don’t do well in the heat. I still haven’t finished my WIP. I can’t concentrate for more than 20 minutes at a time. I’m behind in my chores, I’m not exercising. I’m unmotivated. My writing seems choppy. I’m napping during the day.
But enough of my whining …
My trip to Bali spanned over 2 days. In late September, I drove from New Brunswick to Manitoba, by myself, then flew to Vancouver. Why? Long story for another day. I keep mentioning “by myself” because it was a huge deal for me. Driving across Canada, then flying to the south pacific. I’d never done anything like this before. Except for the time I drove our motorhome from Whitehorse, Yukon down to Prince George, BC.
When reality set in I almost decided to cancel the trip. Winter was coming. The trip through Ontario can at times be treacherous. I changed my itinerary, drove to Manitoba, flew to Vancouver, and left from there; which saved me 4 hours. If you’re not up on your geography, Vancouver is a 2-hour drive north from Seattle. Winnipeg is about 6 hours north of Bismarck.
I left Canada on October 1 and arrived in Manila at 5:00 am on October 3.
October 2 was spent at 30,000+ feet.
I’m mentioning this because it’s important to take note of how very long these flights are.
If you hope to see the south pacific one day, consider Business Class if possible. And travel at night. The planes have small seats. The best are in the exit isles; however, there are metal armrests that don’t move, and although you have extra legroom, you are snug like a bug in a rug, and only able to recline the seat an inch. You’re sitting upright for what feels like days. It’s uncomfortable. I’m 5’5 and was the tallest person on the plane. While Business is over double the cost, I bet it’s worth the comfort.
Also, pack light. As I mentioned last month, security is tight. When they tell you to be at the airport 4 hours prior to take-off, you’ll need every minute to get through all the checkpoints. A backpack and a carryon make for quicker inspections; and really, they’re all you need. If that sounds ludicrous, check out the many videos on YouTube on how to survive long flights.
I had planned on sharing my week’s experience at the Blooming Lotus Yoga Bliss retreat in Ubud, but I’ve decided to cut this short and continue in August. Otherwise, you’ll be here all day. And there are so many awesome IWSG bloggers to visit.
Below are some of the photographs I took of the country on our way to the retreat. I was like a kid with my face pressed to the glass. I’d never seen such a contrast in foliage and architecture and landscapes. It made me think of all the young men during the Vietnam War and what they experienced the moment they stepped out of the cargo planes.
As we drove toward my destination and my driver explained as best he could in broken-English what I was seeing, I couldn’t help feeling overwhelmed with gratitude.
My GPS said 53 minutes, but it was more like 65 minutes in traffic.
Below is Krishna Arjuna Statue. My photo from the backseat doesn’t do it justice. The road is too busy to stop.
Similar to North America, there are temples instead of churches on almost every corner.
They’re kites below. Some sort of special event going on. The kites are the shape of fighter planes.
I’m not exactly sure, but I think this is the entrance to a park or a hotel, some type of tourist spot.
The monument below honours Satria Gatot Kaca, a legendary and powerful knight who is believed to give spiritual protection and safety for all incoming and outgoing flights.
One of the busier corners. Haha, I know, where’s the traffic?
Scooters are very popular on the island. It’s said there are over 2 million. I think I saw a few hundred thousand.
Dewa Indera Statue, stands at the junction of the road to Ubud. The colours were brilliant.
Rice paddles along the road.
Many, many scooters.
One day a friend from the retreat and I were walking past the entrance to the Monkey Forest. My friend was eating an ice-cream cone. I wasn’t. She was behind me when I heard a loud scream. One of the monkeys had climbed onto her back and was trying to steal her cone. One of the guards yelled a command in a very menacing voice and the monkey jumped down and ran into the forest.
I asked why some of these goddesses have so many arms and I was told it’s because they represent the power of God.
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